Commissioned by Contact.


Contact is casting for their new and exciting festive children’s commission, written by Jackie Hagan and directed by Nickie Miles Wildin. Staged as part of Contact’s year out of the building programme In The City at Hope Mill (Manchester) in December 2018, the show will provide a fun and alternative festive experience for children aged 5+ (and those who look after them) and will explore themes of acceptance, family and adventure.

Contact is now seeking 4 warm and adaptable performers to make up the ensemble. As well as performance ability, Contact wish to work with actors who are interested in contributing to the devising process when the piece is in R&D stage. As well as desirable qualities that are listed against specific roles, playing of instruments, BSL knowledge, singing ability, and movement skills are welcomed throughout. Contact encourage D/deaf and disabled performers to apply for the roles.

There is a mystery in the forest – everyone has forgotten about dancing and bright lights and disco. Even Alexa – the virtual assistant from the Amazon Rainforest – can’t tell us why. Meet Bear Hug, a creaky bear with a secret. Bear Minimum has a higgledy piggledy bedroom she can’t keep clean. Bear Grills just can’t keep his head cool. Until one day, Red (who is 7 and scared of nothing!) explodes on to the scene, changing the bears’ lives forever.
Fun for everyone – no matter what your family looks like.

Contact is casting for the following roles:

Alexa: Any gender for this character or age, seeking good improv skills and able to ad lib with audience and engage children. Alexa is mischievous, manipulative and charming. BSL knowledge and the ability to play an instrument desirable.

Bear Grills: age between 20 – 35, male character. Vulnerable, somewhat childlike, has a big roaring bravado that breaks, he cares and has a sweet side.

Bear Minimum: any age, female character. Stands her ground, wise, caring forthright. Bear Minimum would ideally be cast as a D/deaf actor, and BSL user

Bear Hugs: older male character, a loving temperament with an embarrassed bravado. Preferable that Bear Hug can play an instrument.

Production timescale:
• 1-2 R&D dates in July (TBC)
• 3 weeks rehearsal: Monday to Friday- weeks commencing 12 Nov, 19 Nov and 26 November
• Production week: 3 December – 7 December
• Shows: Opens Tuesday 11 Dec, closes Sunday 23rd Dec. 11AM, 2PM, 7PM.

All actors will be contracted and paid Equity/ ITC rates.

Submissions and casting workshop:

Please send a current CV and headshot to: by 12 noon on Thursday 7 June, outlining the role you would like to be considered for and highlighting any desirable experience.
• Casting workshops (involving group and individual work) held on: 18 and 20 June from 1.30PM-6PM (at Powerhouse Library, Raby Street, Moss Side).
• All actors will be informed if they have been selected for audition by Monday 11 June.

About Contact:

Contact is where young people change their lives through the arts, and audiences of all ages experience exciting new shows. We are the leading national theatre and arts venue to place young people at the decision-making heart of everything. At Contact, young people aged 13-30 genuinely lead, working alongside staff in deciding the artistic programme, making staff appointments and act as full Board members. The result is an outstanding, diverse and accessible artistic programme for everyone.